Encouraging Financial Conversations

Personal finances are just that – personal! Positive conversations around money are grounded in respect, confidentiality, and creating a judgment-free zone. Many helping professionals have on-going relationships with their clients and are in a position to provide resources to individuals who may not seek out financial education.

This website is designed to share proven resources used and/or developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Financial Education professionals. All materials are free for personal use.

These financial capability resources are divided into the following core Financial Competencies:

Not sure how to start the conversation?

Talking about money may feel uncomfortable, especially if it’s something you’re not used to doing. Check out these resources for talking about financial management:

  • Powerful questions – Starting with a question is a great way to learn more about what’s important to someone. This handout provides many questions to consider for starting a financial conversation.
  • Financial well-being – Research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests that individuals who report higher levels of financial well-being share some common themes around financial security and financial freedom of choice, both in the present and in the future. Find out more about financial well-being in this handout or share this idea sheet to create your own financial well-being plan. You can also take an online financial well-being quiz from CFPB in English or in Spanish.
  • Financial problem-solvingThese problem-solving guides walk you through a range of financial concerns, such as trouble making ends meet, having overdue bills, or falling behind on rent. Guides contain resources for Wisconsin families coping with financial challenges.

Financial coaching is one approach for engaging others in conversations around financial goals. To find out more about financial coaching, visit the UW-Madison Financial Coaching Strategies website.

Additional resources

We invite you to share these Financial Management Newsletters with your program participants. These 16 two-page newsletters cover financial basics, such as creating a budget and using credit. Similar newsletters are available in Spanish through our UW Money $mart in Head Start program.

Be sure to check out our other University of Wisconsin Financial Management Websites, including the Money Matters online, self-study modules.